Public Urban Bars Expands Cookhouse Brand With Star

Public Urban Bars is commencing a £800,000 refurbishment of The Victoria in Rainhill with Star Pubs & Bars, which will convert the pub into its fourth Cookhouse Pub & Carvery site.

The revamped venue – Public Urban Bar’s fourth pub with Star – will open in early October, creating 40 new jobs. To meet the needs of the whole community it will feature all-day food, a function room with an entertainment programme and a large garden complete with a children’s play area. The Victoria will be renamed the Cookhouse Pub & Carvery to mark its new direction.

Outside work will renovate and repaint the pub, adding new lighting, planting and signage at the front to enhance the centre of Rainhill. The garden will be landscaped to provide alfresco drinking and dining for 200 customers, a heated covered pergola and an enclosed adventure playground.

The inside of the pub will receive a total makeover, too, opening it up and making it more contemporary. New bi-fold doors and windows at the back and side will bring light flooding in and give customers views over the garden.

The installation of a bigger kitchen will enable the Cookhouse Pub & Carvery to introduce all-day food for all occasions. The pub will open for breakfast and offer a carvery, traditional pub classics and set menus for celebration meals. Other new additions include an ice cream parlour and a coffee lounge area with a barista quality coffee machine.

Public Urban Bars has further Cookhouses at Prestatyn, Liverpool and Widnes. The company is now planning expansion of the brand across the North West and North.

Says co-founder Colin Stuart: “The Cookhouse model has proved resilient during the pandemic. Trade picked up over night when we came out of lockdown. We aim to have something for everyone and give local residents great food, drinks and entertainment on their doorsteps, so they don’t need to travel. With people choosing to stay local, our pubs are busy.

“The pace and extent of our expansion will be determined by the availability of sites that are right for the brand but we can easily see growing to a group of ten Cookhouses. Leasing with Star works brilliantly for us; their willingness to invest has contributed to the successful launch of the Cookhouse brand. Star’s rent support has also been fantastic. It’s helped us survive covid restrictions and enabled us to quickly restart our Cookhouse roll out.”

Adds Star Pubs & Bars’ area manager Phil McWilliam: “We’re delighted to be investing again with Public Urban Bars. They are highly experienced operators who understand what works and what their customers want. The Rainhill Cookhouse is set to be another success. The pub is in a high profile location in the heart of the village, and will have it all when the refurbishment is completed.”